Church as we know it in the West isn’t working; I don’t mean people don’t enjoy themselves (as that seems to be the main directive), some do. What I am talking about is our prime directive to go into all the world and make disciples, our current understanding of church is most certainly failing in this respect. It was this understanding that caused me to make such a radical shift of direction in my life. Whilst I really don’t have all the answers I feel I am closer to what Jesus had in mind when He said ‘church’ than when I ‘pastoring’.
Myth – “an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.” Dictionary.com
John Maxwell (who told me that he is my friend) says that “everything rises and falls on leadership”, and you know what? He is absolutely right. Everything from our schools to our homes, from our businesses to our sports teams need to be led – The thing is what should church leadership really look like. Does the Bible give any clues, should we be like a corporation or is that the very opposite of what the Jesus had in mind? Read more
We have all heard it again and again, following Jesus is a relationship and not a religion – To this I say a hearty “amen”. The thing is how does this pan out in our daily living, do we ‘follow Jesus in the way’ or ‘visit Him on a Sunday’? Ironically, the very thing that advertises as being a help can actually be very detrimental to following after the Lord Jesus; I am of course talking about church. Read more
There is much conjecture as to how and when we will witness the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. The thing is we are about 2,000 years too late; God has fully rebuilt the temple and it has become a house of prayer for all nations.
Now I know I might be treading on some toes and I don’t pretend to be an authority on the ‘End Times’, but hear me out.
What did Jesus say?
After turning the tables and freeing the animals in the Gentile Court, the Jews demanded to know by whose authority Jesus created such chaos. His response is fascinating:
“Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” John 2:19
Jesus is being very deliberate in His words, He knew the Jews would think He meant the building they were standing in, but verse 21 tells us that He was speaking of His body. The question then is why would He say this and leave the Jews believing something different?
Jesus didn’t speak much of the church in the Gospels but when He did, He said He would build it and it would have authority over the resistance of hell as well as the ability to self govern. Over the last couple of years or so, I have been asking the Lord what did He see when He said church. His answer has turned my understanding upside down… or should I say the right way up?
Having given three articles over to why I don’t want to go to church, I now want to take a more positive approach as to what church is and why I want to be totally involved. A contradiction? No, not really because there is church and then there is church. 😉
In my mind there is a difference between being the church, (God’s people on earth and in heaven) and going to church (a religious exercise sometimes attached to self-righteousness and a sense of well-being). As I have progressed in my journey I have come to question many of the things I used to take for granted, including the habit of church going.
Of course I am not against people going to church but I am questioning the reasons behind it and how effective it is in bringing the people of God to maturity; it is probably worth noting that I have been a ‘pastor’ for over ten years, I have planted two works and have preached in any number of churches around the world, I am forty eight years old, married with two married sons and two daughters at home. Along with my wife I oversee two Christian schools as well as the churches and I am asking the question “why would I go to church?”
During the last supper the Lord Jesus set in motion the New Covenant; man was no longer going to have to relate to God through the Law of Moses but by the indwelling Holy Spirit. This was a massive change in the way God was going to deal with mankind; under the new covenant God makes people right with Himself (righteous) apart from the law, He literally gives righteousness as a gift to all those who believe on the Lord Jesus no matter who they are or where they are from. This is really good news 😀
There is a misunderstanding that should be cleared up at this point; mankind has only ever been saved by grace, even those under the law. The law of Moses was given to teach man that there is a difference between sin and holiness and to protect Israel until Jesus the messiah came.